Friday, November 20, 2009

Did You Say Something?

From Hope for Today, page 325:

"When given the occasion to hear or speak an uncomfotable reality, I have choices. I can hear it and grow, I can share it and grow, or I can ignore it in favor of maintaining my comfort zone. The truth merely provides me with an opportunity for growth. The rest is up to me."

Before Al-Anon, I practised selective listening, and just wouldn't hear an uncomfortable truth about myself. The odd time when the speaker said it loudly enough, and in close enough proximity for me to be unable to not hear it, I turned my face away, and dismissed or minimised. I couldn't deal with any suggestion that I wasn't perfect, because I knew just how imperfect I truly was. I feared myself flawed in some fundamental fashion.

These days, I am well aware that I am flawed, and in full possession of the usual human frailties, but this knowledge is no longer reason to turn from the truth in fear and trembling that I wll be found out.

I've shared of myself at the tables of Al-Anon, and been accepted and loved in spite of my faults and foibles and character defects. When I speak to program friends about my character defects, we can laugh at the essential silliness of the human ego, and the posturing we all adopt in an effort to impress.

Laughter is a solid foundation - pretending is a balance beam. I've had enough of standing on one foot windmilling wildly with my arms, trying to stay up there. I can't sit down, I can't recline, I can't get comfortable in any way - I want the safeguard and serenity of solid ground. To step down, I need to take the ever-present guiding hand of my Higher Power, who will not only help me dismount, but will steady me until I regain my equilibrium.


  1. I am comfortable with who I am today - my assets and defects.

    I used to think I was the most sensitive person on the planet. Just looking at me the wrong way could cause me pain. I have learned that many people in recovery are working on their over-sensitivity.

    My sensitivity level is much lower now.

    Thank God for AA and Al-Anon.

    Good post. I appreciated what you had to say.

  2. Laughter and humor are great things when I remember to use them. I can be so serious at times that I wonder at how boring I am. I know that I can be really goofy though but life with alcoholism has made me contemplative in ways that I never imagined.